By Laurel Duggan
Prominent liberals did not take kindly to the news that Twitter had agreed to sell itself to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, predicting his ownership of the company would adversely affect the platform.
Twitter users complained that Musk’s takeover would result in an increase in racism and abusive content on the site, and several users noted Musk’s South African background to suggest that he would implement “Apartheid” online.
Elon musk buying Twitter is a dream come true for white nationalists. After all musk is from the former apartheid country of South Africa which the white supremacists idolize.
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) April 25, 2022
“Elon musk buying Twitter is a dream come true for white nationalists,” radio host Dean Obeidallah wrote. “After all musk is from the former apartheid country of South Africa which the white supremacists idolize.”
“Wonder if Elon musk will copy the apartheid rules of his home country South Africa and give us check marks based on our skin color? The whiter the check mark the more rights you have on Twitter,” he said.
At its root, @ElonMusk wanting to purchase Twitter is not about left vs right.
It’s about white power.
The man was raised in Apartheid by a white nationalist.
He’s upset that Twitter won’t allow white nationalists to target/harass people. That’s his definition of free speech.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) April 25, 2022
“At its root, @ElonMusk wanting to purchase Twitter is not about left vs right. It’s about white power,” activist Shaun King wrote on Twitter. “It’s about how the richest man in the world, a son of Apartheid, raised by a white nationalist, wants to be sure his speech, and that of other white men, isn’t censored.”
Others worried that Musk’s purported intention to allow people with dissenting points of view to speak freely was not necessarily sincere or in line with principles of free speech.
When billionaires like Elon Musk justify their motives by using “freedom,” beware. What they actually seek is freedom from accountability.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) April 24, 2022
“When billionaires like Elon Musk justify their motives by using ‘freedom,’ beware,” former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich said. “What they actually seek is freedom from accountability.”
‘I still think Elon Musk owning Twitter is a bad idea,” Occupy Democrats writer David Weissman said. “He will amplify racists, bigots, and misinformation. He is a bad-faith actor with his distorted views of free speech and censorship.”
“I hope you won’t become a platform for spreading misinformation as that’s not what free speech means,” Forbes writer Adi Gaskell wrote.
When an oligarch buys a communication platform to distribute rightwing propaganda that's not democracy.
— Jennifer Mercieca (@jenmercieca) April 25, 2022
“When an oligarch buys a communication platform to distribute rightwing propaganda that’s not democracy,” Texas A&M professor Jennifer Merciera said.
“So if/when Elon Musk takes control of Twitter and turns it into a malevolent mouthpiece, where should Democrats and Progressives go for free speech on social media? An existing site or do we start our own?” journalist Niki Finke wrote.
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